Credit Suisse’s Latin America desk in Switzerland suffered a slew of departures this week, including the exit of longtime regional executive Wenceslao Browne who resigned along with a handful of private bankers, Citywire has learned.
Browne, who headed coverage of the private bank’s business in Latin America’s Southern Cone, left the firm on Tuesday after more than a decade with Credit Suisse along with private bankers Nicolas Kiguel, Javier Masotta and Lucia Sibileau, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
They could not be reached for comment prior to publication while a spokesperson for the group declined to comment when reached by email.
It is understood that their exits were related to news reported earlier this month by Bloomberg that Credit Suisse was weighing the sale of its wealth management operations covering Latin America, which includes units in Mexico and Colombia as well as Switzerland.
According to sources, Browne and the trio of private bankers left ahead of a wider restructuring of Credit Suisse’s business lines which is expected to be announced in October.
It is widely assumed that the group will reveal which wealth management and investment banking operations it has decided to close. Sources added that staple units in Latin America could be on the chopping block as part of the restructuring.
Media reports have claimed that Banco Santander and Italian group Intesa Sanpaolo have been in talks with Credit Suisse over the purchase of its wealth management and investment banking franchise in Latin America, which – including its parallel unit in Brazil – accounts for over a $100bn in client assets.
Earlier this month, the firm laid off nearly half a dozen employees in its Brazilian business, with Credit Suisse claiming that it had found ‘certain redundancies’ across the unit following a restructuring in the region earlier this year.
Francesco de Ferrari, Credit Suisse’s newly-named head of wealth management who was hired from Australian wealth manager AMP last year, reorganized its business in Latin America under a single new Global Private Bank division as part of an effort to simplify its structure.
He also tapped company veteran Marcello Chilov to lead the new division in Latin America.
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